Need advice on making a boat girl-friendly - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-25-2009   #1
 
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 20
Need advice on making a boat girl-friendly

I'm sure some of this has been discussed before, and I wouldn't be surprised if I'm putting this in the wrong place but here goes:

I've been boating Derk's Burn all year and have finally decided I have to girl-proof it. I've noticed my legs falling asleep with distressing speed whenever I'm in the boat and have finally decided it's the shape of the hip pads that are cutting off the circulation, not the amount of padding. I've heard from some other girls this is sort of common because they were designed for men. Does anyone have any ideas how I can fix this without just getting new ones?

I think if I cut the foam behind the pad so that the part further forward (towards my thighs) won't be so tight it'll fix it. I just wanted some advice since I don't have many shims to replace with if it doesn't work and am terrified to get on anything challenging until it's fixed because before long it can be painful and I get worried when I can't feel my boat very well.

Another thing, some time ago either Derk or I swam and the boat's edge on the left side got scratched up. It's not real damage but it's tearing up my arm when it occasionally rubs. Is there anyway to say, buff that out? It's not bad and I could just wear a dry top but it's such nice weather I can't pass up a shortie.

Finally this doesn't really fit here but I have to ask. The Burn's cockpit is just big enough that when I shoulder it the other side of the cockpit grinds on my hip bone. It's rather painful and I always have huge tender bruises there because of it. Does anyone have any ideas how I could prevent this? I'm too short to carry it even nearly vertically and my shoulders slope so that I have to lean to keep it on. Just thought I'ld ask since I'm annoying you all.

Thanks!

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Old 07-25-2009   #2
 
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 134
A few ideas

The leg falling asleep problem is a common one for women. It has to due with the fact that women's hips are wider then men's. A man and a women with the same size butt have different leg positions. Womens' legs are much wider spread at the hip which means the front of the hip pads need to be thinned down. The best way to do that is to work with tapered shims. Take a couple of the shims for the boat andcut them so that they taper from back to fron. The overall affect will be that you have more room in the front part of the pad. Try it first with just one shim on each side. If you need more room, do the same thing with a second shim on each side.

The rough spots on the chine of the boat can be sanded or cut off. That area is generally where the thickest plastic is in a boat because of the way rotomolding works. You can trim big chunks with a utility knife and the rest can be sanded off with coarse sandpaper.

A simple solution for the cockpit grind is to get a piece of minicell that you can carry inside the boat to cover the lower part of the cockpit rim while you are carrying the boat. They used to make foam blocks for carrying canoes on the roof of a car that were just a plock with a circular hole goin through them. If you can find them they work great. If not, any old piece of foam cut to fit over the rim will work.

Good Luck,
Dan
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Old 07-25-2009   #3
 
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 20
Thank you so much! I hadn't even thought of the foam block and it's good to hear I don't have to worry about sanding that part down.

I knew the problem was the shape of my hips but I didn't think to turn the tapered shims that way. I had them tapering from top to bottom because I noticed that helped keep me from dropping off the seat when flipped over. Perhaps I can find a happy medium by using two thin shims, one in each direction.

Thanks!
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Old 07-25-2009   #4
 
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 20
Another slight problem. A few weeks back the seat was removed to fix a split. The split returned however the patch is not leaking, this will need fixing too but I've got to find someone to help me in person there. My problem right now is the bolts are horribly stripped and I'm worried I won't be able to get them out to remove the hip pads and fix the shims. Any suggestions on how to replace them?

Sorry for all this, it seems I've inherited a boat that needs more work than I had thought.
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Old 07-26-2009   #5
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 142
I've yet to be able to make any commercial hip pad fit me comfortably and/or make me feel secure enough in the boat. I've ended up making my own hip pads for each boat. And since I like the foam blocks to come over my hip/thigh a bit, I have them setup so that I put them into the boat after getting in. I know seems strange, but makes for a very comfy boat.

Basically I shaped 2 foam blocks until they fit my hips comfortably, then glued them onto pieces of plastic from those rollable cutting sheets (sized to match the new hip pads). On the back of that I glue some industrial velcro, and then glue the mating side of the velcro onto the boat. Drill a hole through the bottom part of the hip pad/plastic and pass a cord through it and around some part of the seat fixture (that way they stay with the boat when you swim). The cord is sized so that I can put the hip pads just outside the cockpit rim when getting in the boat. Then once in the boat, slide them in place, cinch the backband and you're off.

A side benefit of this is I have found I can adjust where the hip pads are when carrying the boat and use it for shoulder/hip padding. That and always where my PFD if I've got to carry the boat a long distance (yet more padding).

As for the bolts, couldn't you pick up a new set at your local hardware store and replace the stripped ones? That'd be my plan.

Good luck, if desired I can post/send a photo of the hip pads.

John
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Old 07-26-2009   #6
 
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 20
Pictures would be great, I think the removable pads might help simplify things. I'm going to try and take those bolts out today to replace them but I'm not very optimistic that they will come out.

Also, since I'm working on the boat anyway, I've decided to fix the bulk head. I always had a hell of a time getting Derk's out so I could boat and was wondering if anyone had advice on how to shape it so that it's easier to take out in case I ever need to lend it to someone. I still sort of think of it as a club boat, it took me months to learn it was Derk's, and don't know if I'll ever need to pass it around since it's so great for beginning and I've been meaning to try out the Kingpin anyway.
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Old 07-26-2009   #7
 
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 134
Bulkhead

I always had a hell of a time getting Derk's out so I could boat and was wondering if anyone had advice on how to shape it so that it's easier to take out in case I ever need to lend it to someone.

An easy way to make the bulkhead removable is to include a small loop of webbing in the design. We always did that with the suicide blocks in our squirt boats. An easy way is to cut a hole from deck to hull in the bulkhead about 2" back from the face once you have it fitted. Insert a piece of 1" plastic pipe that is slightly shorter than the bulkhead is thick through the hole. Slide the webbing through the pipe and tie it into a loop that is just big enough to go around the front of the bulkhead. The end result is a webbing handle that you can use to pull the bulkhead out of the boat with when you need to swap boats.

Dan
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Old 07-27-2009   #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 142
Here's 3 photos. I started w/glued in ones like this in the Corsica, but they kept ripping out when I'd swim, so on the next boat came up with this method. Generally it works well, though every two seasons or so I have to re-glue the velcro on the hip pads (but not on the boat).

John
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Old 07-27-2009   #9
 
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 20
Thanks so much. I think I'll try out your method John. Limit the things that can get lost on the river but the removable pads sound great. I talked to a few girls and decided on a shape that works well with our hip shapes. Thanks again you two for the help, I really look forward to boating comfortably for longer than five minutes.

Mary
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Old 07-31-2009   #10
 
Where ever I may be, New Mexico
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 6
I suspect that master of disaster is spot on. What better way to honor the one you love than by doing everything you can to keep going with the things you loved to do together?

Count's Girl, I find it really impressive that you have to fortitude to be able to hop right back on the water. So many people would just give it up, or at least take a while off. It shows true strength to do what you are. I hope the new hip pads work for you. Even as a guy, hip pads are one of the things that I have the biggest issue getting to fit right.
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